The open-source code repository GitHub on Wednesday rolled out GitHub Desktop, a new interface for Mac and Windows that allows developers to contribute OSS projects and collaborate on code across operating systems.
Simply put, GitHub Desktop replaces GitHub for Mac and Windows with a unified experience across both platforms. The apps are being replaced automatically and can be used alongside GitHub Enterprise.
It's likely that GitHub is looking to the unified desktop experience to bring in more developers who prefer a more substantial GUI over the standard text-based interface in place previously.
Some key features of the new desktop client as outlined by GitHub:
- Branches, which are used for proposing changes and reviewing code, are now available to view or work off of in a repository view via GitHub desktop.
- Committing changes or opening pull requests is now possible without leaving GitHub Desktop.
- Merging and deploying code is streamlined -- users can browse commits more quickly to see what needs to be merged, merge code to a master branch, and deploy changes all from GitHub Desktop.
The San Francisco-based company houses some 25 million software projects and touts itself as the largest online code repository in the world. However, competition is never far away in Silicon Valley. Just over a month ago Google launched its own code repository supported by cloud technology.